Hi, and welcome to my The Chat Shop review.
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Gorjan here, and today’s review, we’ll discuss The Chat Shop, a UK-based business specializing in consultancy and outsourcing for live chat. In this Chat Shop review, I will try to give you the best possible overview of the company, requirements, and application process, talk about the live chat role, and ultimately provide you with my opinion on whether or not this could be a great fit for you.
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Hi, my name is Gorjan, and I’m making a full-time income working from home. Feel free to read my about page if you wish to learn more about my story, past experiences, and how I can help you set up your 1st passive revenue source.
The Chat Shop Review
You probably stumbled upon my page because you’re curious about the Chat Shop and are considering sending in your application to be a chat agent. Well, no worries, because I’ve got you! By the time I’m done with this review, you will know everything there is to know about this company. From what to expect working as a chat agent at the Chat Shop to what others are saying and how the entire training process goes, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting into if you give this opportunity a chance. Rest assured that no stones will be left unturned!
But, before I begin, I just want to let you know that, unlike some of the other Chat Shop reviews you might have come across and read by now, I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with the company or any of their competitors. My only intention is to provide you with a truthful review of the company to the best of my ability, so you can determine if it’s the right choice for you at this time or not.
So, with that out of the way, let’s start.
What Is The Chat Shop?
The Chat Shop is a UK-based company founded in 2012 by Joe Bush and Jonathan Everett. Their vision was to “put humanity back into customer relations” because they found that customer service heavily relied on bots and was too automated.
The company offers work-from-home opportunities for people all around the world. Primarily, you would be hired as a chat agent that does customer sales and support roles for multiple clients. As of writing, the company has over 80 team members working from home and round the clock for clients across more than 12 industries. They boast a 29-second average response time, 99% customer satisfaction rating, and 5x higher conversion rates. Impressive, to say the least.
They have their own in-house recruitment team dedicated to finding the best people who will join their team. While they receive over 1,000 applications per month, only some get a chance to be interviewed, unfortunately. And of those who get interviewed, only less than 1% get hired and proceed to get trained.
Because they’ve set really high expectations, their interview process is very competitive. Knowing this, it’s fair to say that working as a chat agent at the Chat Shop might as well be considered somewhat of a privilege, so bring your A-game.
Requirements to Work as a Chat Agent
The company favors recruits who are native English speakers or people with C2 proficiency in the English language. You’d need to have outstanding grammar, accurate spelling, and proper sentence structure. Additionally, they require you to be available to work 35-40 hours per week, following the UK timezone.
Before sending in your application, they request that you read a couple of blog entries their team members have written on their website, giving you a glimpse into what kind of work environment they have and an overview of the position.
Not only will this help you determine if the role is ideal for you, it could also aid you during the interview process! Hint: a team manager who will be doing your live chat interview could ask you questions about their blog entries.
Apart from the main prerequisite of being fluent in English, of course, they also require applicants to have the following skills:
● must be highly detail-oriented
● must be able to multi-task and perform well under pressure
● must be able to enjoy learning new things
● must have an upbeat personality and a great attitude
● error-free typing speed of 65+ WPM
● available to work 35-40 hours per week, following the UK timezone
Applying For The Live Chat Agent Opportunity
Firstly, you need to get their attention by answering a short questionnaire as well as a typing test. Passing this stage only means you get the chance to proceed with the actual interview process, so doing good here only means you’re halfway there.
If they see potential, you can then proceed to a three-part recruitment process that begins with a live chat interview. Below is a cheat sheet of what they look for in an applicant during the first part of the recruitment process:
First, all successful candidates must be able to respond quickly to our questions, and respond accurately. By accurately, we mean two things:
- We need agents who have perfect typing skills.
- We expect perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- We look for agents that are efficient in their answers. When we ask what you enjoy about customer service, we don’t want a three-year lecture about every customer service position you have held. Just like a customer, we want our information delivered completely and courteously.
Second, we are looking for personality. A flare. A spark that says – this person knows how to make a customer feel special. A person we would be happy going to for help about a product or service we’re thinking about buying. Our mission is to redress the lack of human interaction on the web. It can be difficult to achieve this through the medium of live chat, especially given the rise of chatbots trying to replace us.
I personally find their conditions a bit challenging and unspecific because, understandably, there’s a very fine line you have to tread. You’d risk sounding like a robot if your replies are too bland. Too excessive, and you’d risk sounding fake.
During the second part of recruitment, they do another interview focusing more on your communication and people skills. They need people who are comfortable with engaging, offering advice, and closing deals with clients.
Soft skills for customer service reps will need to shine through in this part of the interview, so it’d be good if you could highlight those. I’m sure your chances of getting the position will increase significantly if you show strong interpersonal skills and the ability to maintain calm under severe pressure, especially when dealing with angry customers. Also, excellent time management is a big plus!
The last part of the interview process is done over the phone.
This will be your last chance to sell yourself and prove how much you share the company’s vision and commitment to providing good service to customers.
Being a Chat Agent at The Chat Shop
Once you pass the three-part recruitment process, you can start your training. As a new agent, you will be required to complete a 4-week onboarding phase which will be conducted Mondays through Fridays between 9 AM and 6 AM UK time.
The majority of the training will be done online via laptop or desktop, and sometimes you will do it over the phone. As a whole, the training process is very comprehensive and interactive, with plenty of regular assessments. Please keep in mind that you will have to match the pace of whoever is conducting your training, so you will have to focus completely. I highly suggest eliminating any distractions!
Although the training they provide will enable you to perform in this role, it is up to you to add your own personality. Because, as they said, they need humans, not robots. No two chats in this job will be the same, and that’s totally fine.
Together with the other chat agents, you will be speaking to a range of customers on behalf of The Chat Shop as well as the client that hired their services. Remember that each chat job will be unique, and while this can definitely keep things interesting, it also requires you to be at a hundred percent continuously.
Most, if not all, of the time, you will be assigned to handle more than one customer, which can get pretty intense and demanding if you think about it.
Remember, they boast a 29-second average response rate.
You will spend most of your hours answering questions and helping people. So you have to read chats, type, and send the correct responses in a concise timeframe. Applying strong communication skills, leading with empathy, and finding the right tone of voice are necessities as a live chat representative.
But, not all customers will be friendly, and you must understand that!
Some will be angry, and when I say mad, I mean fuming! These people can make you throw out every single training you’ve ever had out the window, so if you aren’t mentally ready and patient for this type of work, they will quickly drain you. Maybe that’s why The Chat Shop really emphasized that they have plenty of mental health resources available for their agents.
Because of the nature of this type of work, sometimes you’ll be asked to render longer hours and even work through the weekends. From where I’m standing, that kind of takes away the magic from working online, wouldn’t you say?
How Does The Chat Shop Pay Its Live Chat Agents?
The Chat Shop regularly pays its employees on an hourly basis. The pay range for the Chat Agent role is between $9-$11 per hour, according to Glassdoor. The company sends out salaries every 15 days via bank account and wire transfer.
Like every other work-from-home job, the company doesn’t have 401k options or other benefits besides sick and vacation pay, unfortunately.
Pros and Cons of Working as a Live Chat Agent
● You get the chance to work from home
● You are qualified for sick and vacation pay
● All kinds of mental health resources available
● The work-to-reward ratio could be better
● You are ONLY qualified for sick and vacation pay
● It’s a stressful job, and so much is expected from you
● Although you’re working from home, you still don’t have free reign of your time
● You could use your English proficiency more wisely
Is The Chat Shop Legit?
The Chat Shop is a legitimate UK-based company that regularly pays out its employees and offers work-from-home opportunities for people worldwide. But because it is legit does not mean I could easily recommend working for them.
Firstly, you have to take into consideration the many reviews people have about the company. It appears that the majority of the complaints stem from the low pay for the amount of work that is required. – effort-reward imbalance!
Agents are consistently expected to respond at lightning-fast speed, which could be challenging if you deal with more than one customer. And let’s not forget the mood some customers are in; not everyone will be all smiles, so please have this in mind. Most likely, they are irate customers with a lot of complaints.
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Occasionally you will be asked to render longer hours or work through weekends, which I’m a little iffy about. They do pay their usual hourly rate, but I haven’t met a single person who likes their job so much that they’re willing to sacrifice their rest days. Given that this can be a stressful job, you will need that rest.
Time management and organization are crucial in this role, so if you quickly get flustered, you may find this quite challenging. How you deal with pressure from management and customers can make or break you in the long run.
Of course, there are people who have positive things to say about the company, and I don’t want to invalidate their experiences. The company hosts frequent scavenger hunts, discussions on various topics of interest, and gift exchanges for their employees, even if they aren’t from the same country.
If you thrive in fast-paced environments, then…
…maybe this could be a great gig for you.
How I Make a Living Online
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My Chat Shop review is coming to an end, so hopefully, I answered all the questions you had regarding this opportunity. If you think I’ve missed something, or there’s anything you’d like to ask, feel free to leave a comment below.
I usually reply within 24 hours. 👋